Mullah Nasruddin is known as the “Wise Fool” of Middle Eastern folklore and is often portrayed as an old man in a turban, riding backwards on his donkey-person companion. A whole corpus of Mullah Nasruddin’s jokes, thousands of them, exist today. Funny, witty, and educational, these stories have spread all over the world. Over the centuries, many stories have been added, modified, and translated into different languages.He is said to have been born in Hortu, Turkey, in 1208, the son of an Imam. In 1237, He moved to Aksehir, Turkey, to study under reputable scholars of the time. He then became a great Sufi practitioner and Teacher. He was regarded as the sage, philosopher, and leader of 32 craft and trade types, and the organization was named “Ahi-order.”Mullah Nasruddin’s tales may be understood at many levels. First, there is the obvious joke, then the moral lesson behind the joke. But Mullah Nasruddin’s tales may also be understood at many spiritual depths. The tales bring the spiritual seeker a little further on the path of enlightenment every time they are read, studied, or contemplated. In the East, the original tales are solely used by initiate Sufis with the pure longing of attaining God realization.In 2008, Supreme Master Ching Hai told us this story: “Yes, there was the story about Nasruddin, the funny Saint of the Sufis. One time, He was with the king in the royal court. And the king asked Him, ‘If You have to choose between money and virtue, what would You choose, Nasruddin?’ Nasruddin said, ‘I choose money, Your Majesty.’” “So Nasruddin asked the king, ‘And you, Your Majesty, what would you choose?’ The king said, ‘Of course I choose virtue!’ So Nasruddin said, ‘That’s correct, Your Majesty. We all choose what we don’t have.’”One of the most famous tales about Mullah Nasruddin comments on how people tend to seek enlightenment in all the wrong places. They know where the key to enlightenment is, but they prefer to look elsewhere.